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TitleTheology in Stone: Church Architecture from Byzantium to Berkeley
PublisherOxford University Press, USA
ISBN 139780195154665
File Size3.8 MB
Total Pages390
Table of Contents
                            Front Cover
Front Flap
Title Page
1. The First Factor: Spatial Dynamics
2. The Second Factor: Centering Focus
3. The Third Factor: Aesthetic Impact
4. The Fourth Factor: Symbolic Resonance
5. Late Medieval Beverley: Traditional Churches in a Traditional Culture
6. Chicago: Traditional Churches in a Modern Culture
7. Rudolf Schwarz: Modern Churches in a Modern Culture
8. Issues in Church Architecture
Back Flap
Back Cover
Document Text Contents
Page 195

figure 17. Beverley St Mary’s, Beverley, Yorkshire, interior. Photograph by Richard

Page 196

late medieval beverley 181

tions are there recorded: one, for example, had provided two and a half piers
for the arcade.

These two churches are typically English in the monastic influence they
display in their design. The difference here between England and the Continent
is relative, but the role of monks as missionaries in England, and more im-
mediately the influence of many English cathedrals that served also as monas-
tic houses, may be seen as contributing factors to the design even of parish
churches. There was no reason in principle why a parish church, like a mo-
nastic one, had to be cruciform in design, or had to have a fully developed
choir with the elaborate choir stalls seen even at Saint Mary’s, but many En-
glish parish churches do mimic monastic churches in these ways.59 The second
typically English characteristic is a rigorous insistence on orientation. Granted,
both the Minster and Saint Mary’s tilt a bit north of a perfect east-west axis,
but in both cases it is not only the high altar but the altars in lateral chapels
as well that are placed toward the east. This was the tendency on the Continent
as well, but not all countries were as insistent on orientation as England.

Taking their opposing positions in the external geography of Beverley, at
the north and south ends of the main axis running through the town, these
two churches are interestingly comparable in their internal geography. The first
point here is that they exemplify in different ways the tendency of later medi-
eval churches toward compartmentalization. In the late Middle Ages the
churches of England often became carved into distinct spaces, each of them
often the preserve of a particular guild or even a family, whose members would
profit after death from masses said in their chantry chapels.60 Saint Mary’s has
a chapel of Saint Michael in the north chancel aisle, one dedicated to Saint
Katharine in the south chancel aisle, and a chapel of the Holy Trinity east of
the north transept, and chapels were created within the Minster as well. The
canon Richard de Ravenser was a leading founder of perpetual chantries,
meant to ensure that masses would be said for his soul after his death until
Gabriel’s trumpet summoned him from his tomb—or rather, at best, until the
Reformers dissolved these chantries in the sixteenth century. But for the most
part these chapels at Beverley were not for the exclusive use of any guild or
family; rather, a chapel might serve as the location for several chantries, en-
dowed for the souls of several individuals. The earliest of the chantries at Saint
Mary’s, founded in 1388, was established at the preexisting altar of Saint Kath-
erine rather than in a private chapel. Thus, compartmentalization did not al-
ways mean privatization, or if chapels were private preserves it was often for
multiple individuals and groups. It is further worth noting that the partitioned
spaces were in all these cases lateral: they were in aisles, to the north or south
of either the chancel or the nave. Thus the division of a church interior may
seem to us uncontrolled, but it did generally follow certain basic rules, the
most important being that the church’s central east-west axis remained im-
mune from appropriation.

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